The Potager

The Potager

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Cold Three Day Weekend

Three Day Weekends - you have to love them. I just wish they would come during the spring when I could use the extra time in the garden, rather than during a record breaking cold spell in the Northeast.
I've been pouring over seed catalogs, bought my tickets to the Philadelphia Flower Show and the ladies at church are already planning the garden tour for this coming June. I've ordered seeds and am annoyed they couldn't arrive in time for this long weekend. I long to feel soil on my hands.
I pulled a bag of frozen cherry tomatoes and a cube of frozen pesto preserved in the abundance of last summer and turned them into a fragrant sauce.

A warming bowl of spaghetti and meatballs served with homemade bread slathered in butter - calories will be worked off in the garden this spring.On a weekend like this I need comfort food.
I had wanted to go to Whites Bog on this last day of my three day weekend to see the Tundra Swans there. But my husband had to work today. So I busy myself with household chores while planning my future garden in my head.
Finally I can contain it no longer. I go out through the lightly falling snow to see if anything is growing . I first check my hellebores, andromeda and my winter-blooming jasmine

The hellbores have lots of buds!
The buds on the andromeda are almost flower like.
The winter-blooming jasmine is almost there - hopefully I'll see the blooms before the deer chomp them all away. This plant is supposed to be deer resistant. It is not.

My potager is in a state of deconstruction. It will be beautiful again, but it is particularly harsh looking on such a cold, gray day.

Yet, the saffron crocuses look great. Growing cheery green all winter before going to sleep in the spring. Silly off season plants.
That reminds me that I wanted to make a saffron based dish for dinner tonight and I mentally prepare a grocery list of the items I will need.
There are still two herbs that can be harvested: sage and thyme. The sage, while harvest-able, looks likes it's struggling and I will use the sage I dried last summer instead.
But the thyme is always a joy - I just brush away the pine needles and any snow covering it  and it is always there for me to grab some fresh for a meal. I have heard it is easy to dry, but I haven't tried yet. Another mental note for the summer. Try to dry thyme.
The snow is falling in little frozen balls, looking nothing like snowflakes.
It stings my face, and yet I stay. Dreaming of rows of lettuce and peas, green beans and basil and the amazing fresh taste of a cherry tomato right off the vine. Eventually the cold wins and I retreat to the warmth of my home with only a small branch of thyme in my hand.
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home." 
-  Edith Sitwell

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